Ascites describes the presence of excess fluid between abdominal organs, such as the liver, and the abdominal lining. This fluid is most often caused by severe liver disease, such as cirrhosis, hepatitis, and liver cancer. This condition can lead to serious infections and kidney failure and requires immediate treatment.
Take diuretic medication. Diuretics flush fluid out of your system. Your doctor may prescribe Aldactone or Lasix. This is the first line of treatment and may help reduce the amount of fluid in the peritoneal cavity.
Avoid salt. A salty diet hampers the body’s ability to speedily and effectively remove excess fluid. The main culprits of high-salt diets are processed foods, pretzels, potato chips, deli meats, and pickles.
Do not drink alcohol. Alcohol puts undue strain on your liver as it attempts to filter the toxins out of your system and may exacerbate your ascites.
If non-surgical methods have failed, talk to your doctor about draining the ascites. A surgeon will make a small incision in your abdomen, insert a tube attached to an external vacuum, and drain the ascites. This should only be considered if more conservative methods have failed or the ascites is dangerously severe.
Before undergoing any kind of medical therapy, talk to your doctor about the treatment course that's right for you.